What is trauma-informed practice?
Sexual violence is often a traumatic event. Experiencing it can affect the way the brain and body work together. To survive, the brain and body have to process things a little differently in crisis mode. It’s a survival technique. A survivor’s response to trauma is a sign of bravery, resiliency, and strength.
What practices can I use?
Trauma-informed service providers take the brain and body’s response to violence into account. It involves very simple practices, like considering the physical space where you meet with the person or adopting small changes in your interview practices. You can ask yourself questions like:
- Is your space welcoming and comfortable?
- Does your space have clear, visible exits?
- Do you provide information about options and choices?
- Do you talk about next steps and allow the person to ask questions?
- Do you prioritize survivor choice?
These small changes can make a world of difference for a survivor. They can also help improve your case outcomes and follow through with future services.
Our team can provide information and training on what trauma-informed response can look like in your system.
What tools and resources are available?
There are lots of resources available. Here are a few to get you started. Contact us for more.
The brain, body, and trauma by Kelly Wilt & Janine D’Anniballe for the NSVRC (2012)
This course provides an overview of the neurobiological and psychological implications of sexually violent trauma and the information and skills necessary for victim service providers to provide trauma-informed services.
Building cultures of care: A guide for sexual assault programs by the NSVRC and RSP (2013)
This guide provides information to support sexual assault services programs in strengthening their organizational and individual responses to survivors of sexual violence through the use of a trauma-informed approach.
Trauma-Informed Approaches: Federal Activities and Initiatives by the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma (2013)
This report reviews current practices and activities on the federal level related to trauma-informed approaches across a wide range of settings and systems. It encourages agencies to implement a collaborative and comprehensive response to traumas like sexual violence.
Holistic Healing Services for Survivors by RSP (2013)
This paper discusses the importance of integrating holistic healing approaches into direct services in order to support survivors. It looks at approaches to community collaboration and funding as well as providing examples from the field and information about a variety of specific holistic healing modalities.
This recorded webinar discusses the importance of the Monument Quilt and how to host a successful Monument Quilt workshop in your community.